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Nullstream Site

September 30, 2010 04:26 PM PST

The old Nullstream is dead, long live the new Nullstream.

This site has kinda stalled out. We have moved it over to a Facebook Page, you can find it here:

The New Nullstream

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iTunes 10 breaks add as spoken track


September 9, 2010 02:14 PM PST

It appears that iTunes 10 has broken one of my favorite Mac features: "Add to iTunes as a spoken track". This kills an important part of my productivity work flow.

I have verified this on two Macs running 10.6 and iTunes 10. When you try to convert some text the gear in the menu bar just spins infinitely now.

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AT&T Data Plans and Tethering


June 8, 2010 11:06 AM PST

Some thoughts:

Previously AT&T charged 30.00 a month for an 'unlimited' data plan. In reality all of these plans have/had 'soft' limits of around 5g if you read the fine print, but I'm not sure it was widely enforced.

AT&T offered tethering plans for most of it's smart phones, excluding iPhone for some reason, for around another 30.00 a month. People complained that it wasn't fair to charge you more money just to access the data you already purchased from another device. The example of your home internet was used. You pay for the pipe to your house, and you can hang as many devices on it as you want. AT&T's response was that tethering to a computer would actually increase the amount of average data you consumed on your plan and they needed to cover those costs.

AT&T promised that tethering was coming to the iPhone almost exactly 1 year ago. It still has not.

Continue reading "AT&T Data Plans and Tethering"...

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April 23, 2010 02:00 AM PST

nscp.png On March 31, 1998, Netscape Communications released the source code to their web browser client, hoping that they could leverage the community of open source developers to fight off Microsoft in the browser wars.

This video is an excellent documentary of that time.

In the end, Netscape disappeared after an intense battle with Microsoft, and a series of bad decisions (such as a Java based browser, the Collabra acquisition). After a few years, that source code became the basis for the Firefox browser.

If Netscape Navigator was Ben Kenobi to Internet Explorer's Darth Vader, then Firefox, Chrome and the mobile WebKit browsers are the rag-tag bunch that blew up the Death Star.

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Another iPhone Developer Calls it Quits


April 9, 2010 11:44 AM PST

Dan Grigsby, iPhone developer, avocate and founder of the popular iPhone news site and podcast 'Mobile Orchard' has decided to call it quits. He is abandoning iPhone as a platform and discontinuing the web site and blog. Apple's increasingly dictatorial control over the platform, and more specifically the recent decision to reject apps not written in Objective-C, C++ or C have finally pushed him over the edge. He is just the latest in a series of vocal iPhone developers to jump ship. The rational for his decision has been posted as his last entry to Mobile Orchard. You can read it here.

Here are some quotes which I think really get to the heart of the issue:

"Ask permission environments crush creativity and innovation..."

"Without exception, whenever Iíve taken built an app to capitalize on one of my ideas itís run afoul of Appleís policies... ...Apple could decide that this violates the Ts&Cs and kick me out of the program, thereby taking away my ability to support my family."

"Iím fine with Apple curating the App Store. If they want to treat the App Store as an extension of their brand, fine. If thatís their goal, they should decimate ó literally ó the store, stripping out the crappy-yet-inoffensive dross. But provide unrestricted, frictionless, off-store distribution a la Android.

"Iím a principled person. Appleís offended my principles. Consequently, Iíve decided to abandon iPhone development. I wonít work in this ask-permission environment any longer."

I think Dan is taking a brave stand. As an Iphone developer I continue to be concerned by Apple's increasingly Orwellian policies. I am still optimistic that eventually good will prevail, but I must admit that so far I don't see Apple steering away from the course they are on.

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Apple Tablet This Week?


January 25, 2010 11:08 AM PST

Ok, the count down is on. Time to make your predictions. Let's see who can get the closest to the actual thing. This time around I'm trying to restrict my predictions to what I think it will have rather than what I want it to have.

Here is my overly detailed prediction:
[Updated to compare with actual]

Continue reading "Apple Tablet This Week?"...

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Don't discount Google's cloud storage just yet


January 12, 2010 10:09 PM PST

Today Google announced that cloud file storage was coming to Google Docs. After quickly reading the details, my first response (and pretty much everyone else's) was MEH. Only 1G for free with no local syncing? I'll stick with Dropbox, thank you very much. Seriously after all these many years of G-Drive rumors that was all they could come up with? But after some further though I think we may be missing the real potential here. I say 'potential' because this is only speculation, and may not be Google's intent, but hear me out.

Comparing this to DropBox is not fair. That is not where the real potential lies. In fact we don't need another DropBox. What we need is, well, cloud storage. Not a copy of all our locally generated content copied to the cloud, but rather one place to store all of our cloud generated content. Think about it, there is a general trend away from desktop and towards netbooks and web services. As we move more and more of our generated content to Web apps we have lost control of our files. They are sprayed all over different services and servers. I figure Google is in a position to fix that. Who better than Google to provide a nice open file storage API for any web service to use? Combine that with OpenID (via your existing Google account), and you have all your 'cloud' generated files centrally located, backed up, and securely under your control again. Brilliant. Of course they'll all be indexed by Google to provide targeted advertising, but we're already used to to that aren't we?

Am I right here? Is this were Google is going with this? Only time will tell.

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Streaming video to the iphone and ipod touch


January 9, 2010 10:06 PM PST

When I switched away from Windows Mobile I left behind a lot of functionality, some built in and some via 3rd party apps. Over time Apple has managed to add some of these things to the platform, like cut and paste (duh!) and Bluetooth Stereo support. Gradually 3rd party apps have also appeared to fill in many of the cracks left by my switch. I found another one last night - Air Video

I used to use TCPMP or BetaPlayer to stream Xvid files from my media server to my PocketPC over WIFI. I gave this up when I switched to the Apple platform. The iPhone won't play anything but mp4 and I'm not about to convert all my vids. Also the iPhone doesn't have any native support for accessing a network share. Now that problem is solved with Air Video. Air Video allows you to stream video in almost any format to the iPhone. Since the iPhone only displays mp4 the video must be converted (transcoded). Luckily Air Video will do that for you - either by queuing up the conversion or by transcoding on the fly.

To use it you need to install a server program on your Mac or PC and point it to the folders you would like to share. The server software uses Bonjour so you don't need to configure any network settings. After it is up and running the iPhone Air Video app will find the local machine automagically. They also claim some support for streaming across the internet, but I haven't tried that. You can also share iTunes playlists.

There are two versions of the app, one pay  (2.99) and one free. The free version limits the number of items you can see in a folder, but otherwise behaves the same.

I downloaded the server and app and after a quick setup I was streaming anime in .mkv format to my iPhone. Initially I was not able to see the subtitles, but I found there was a beta version of the server. I installed it and the subtitles appeared.

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December 31, 2009 05:09 AM PST

How many people still have a land line, and why? I've been completely cell phone based since March 2004.

It feels weird to agree with luddites AT&T that forcing them to maintain the land line infrastructure with ever decreasing margins is a bad idea.

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Keep up with your reading using free tools


December 29, 2009 02:14 PM PST

These days there's far too much to read and not enough time to read it. I'll show you a couple ways to keep up with your reading using some free tools that are readily available.

Here's a typical scenario: you're reading an article on the web and find a link to something else very interesting, so you open it in a new tab to read later. You keep going on like this and by the end of the day you have 20 tabs open. And this is just one machine, many of us use multiple computers as well as smart phones. How can you keep up with all this reading? The best trick that I found so far is to be able to push this reading into any 'free' time that I have scattered throughout my day. For example, when I'm waiting in lines, or waiting for meals, or people. I can also find time during ads or previews etc. During most of this time I'm not in front of my computer however, so the old 'tab' trick just won't cut it. My other favorite 'free' time however is while driving. I currently have quite a long commute, over 45 minutes each way. If you are creative you can use both of these types of idle time to conquer you reading list.

Continue reading "Keep up with your reading using free tools"...

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Maximum Vi


November 3, 2009 05:17 PM PST


You're gonna want a 30" monitor for maximum Vi usage.

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SSD (yay or nay)?


October 16, 2009 12:42 AM PST

If you were to build a new PC today, what storage set up would you use? I'm thinking that the primary disk would have to be SSD for the start up and application launch performance. I wonder if a secondary SSD for compiling large projects (like Chrome) would be worth it? Would it be a good trade off for a laptop: faster disk but reduced capacity?

AnandTech has some great SSD write ups here and here.

Looks like the intel X25-M is the best choice, and you can get the 160 GB drive for $500 at amazon. That still seems a little pricey to me.

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